How to Ask Someone to Serve As a Job Reference


Many employers require prospective employees to submit job references. These should be individuals who will make favorable comments about your qualifications, work skills, and employment and personal history, when prospective employers request such information. You can ask someone to serve as a job reference for you by having their contact information and by posing the question using proper etiquette.

  • Call the person you want to serve as a job reference and update the person on your career. Tell the person what you have been doing and the jobs you have been performing, if the person is not familiar with your current job status.

  • Ask the person for any advice she might have for you. Asking for advice allows the person to create an interest in helping you with your future and warms her up for the question you want to pose.

  • State that you think the person would make a great reference for you and politely ask, "Would you mind if I listed you as a job reference?"

  • Listen to what the person says about serving as a job reference. If the person immediately replies with a "yes," she may make a terrific reference for you. If she hesitates about the answer, it may be a clue that the person may not make the best reference; when you are searching for a job, you only want people who would make outstanding references and who would undoubtedly say amazing things about you to prospective employers.

  • Write down the correct spelling of the person's name and her contact information. If you are uncertain about the spelling of your reference's name, ask how you spell her name and tell her that you want to make sure that you spell her name correctly. Ask what her business title is and the formal name of her company. Ask which email address, phone number and mailing address you should use for the reference listing on your resume.

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